There has always been a blank page.
I remember knowing I needed my own space to write. I knew it because I read it in RWR, the professional journal of RWA, and Writer's Digest, and probably The Writer, too, although I didn't read it as often. So I found or made spaces. At the dining room table, in the room I shared with the ironing board, in the half-full room of a kid gone to college. When I retired, my husband and sons built me a room in the detached garage that has been the greatest gift of retirement. Because they were right, those articles that said you need a dedicated space.
When I started, the internet was still in its gestational period, and living in the country, I didn't make friends with it until it was at least a toddler. So I had a ton of reference books and a good shelf to keep them on. Although they were usually on my desk or stacked beside it. You needed good reference books or else you needed to work in the library all the time. Most of us didn't have laptops right away, nor were there computers for public use at the time, so working at the library didn't make a lot of sense. I wrote my only historical romance by borrowing research materials over and over and over, though. A friend photocopied everything she needed, because she couldn't take the books home.
Regardless of the manner in which I got them, I always had reference and research materials.
Since the beginning, I've enjoyed the company of other writers, whether it was in RWA, on scheduled retreats, or on mailing lists. They were and remain some of the best friends I've ever had. We laugh, we complain, and we share. We confide, we drink, we cry, and we share some more.
I've always had writer friends.
Christmas Town series earned me the "USA Today Bestselling Author" notation on the front of every book I've written.
I was so lucky to be asked.
That wasn't how it worked. That's never been how it worked. I wrote this woe is me soliloquy in September of 2020, one of the many times that serious thoughts of quitting fell onto that blank page.
So, what's lucky about that?
The fact that I never did quit.
I sighed a lot. Oh, a lot. And I think I probably cried a few times, too, alone in my dedicated space. Because while I didn't necessarily want to be Nora Roberts, I'd have loved to have been able to make a living writing.
But I'm still here in my dedicated space with the blank page in front of me. The internet, although it still slows down and occasionally quits altogether here in the cornfields, is the best reference tool imaginable. It's also a way to be in constant touch with other writers. I start each day knowing I get to write.
Every Single Day. Oh, yes, I am the luckiest of writers.